The School of Communication Norton Herrick Center for Motion Picture Studies at the University of Miami presents a new three-event series: CINEMA CLASSICO: ITALIAN GREATS IN RETROSPECT. The archival program begins in February and finishes in April and will be presented solely on 35mm prints at the Bill Cosford Cinema.

The series is anchored by iconic collaborations between director and star in Italian Cinema. Commencing with the ultimate film about film, Federico Fellini and his cinematic surrogate Marcello Mastroianni tackle creative crisis in the classic 8 1/2 (screening February 23 at 5:30pm). The centerpiece film, a Herrick Center holding, RED DESERT marks master Michelangelo Antonioni’s first color feature and one of his most celebrated collaborations with muse Monica Vitti (screening March 23 at 5:30pm). CINEMA CLASSICO concludes with Anna Magnani starring in MAMMA ROMA, a part crafted for her by provocative auteur Pier Paolo Pasolini (screening on April 20 at 5:30PM).

The Norton Herrick Center for Motion Picture Studies at the University of Miami is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge of the history, aesthetics and social and cultural impact of motion picture media. A primary mission it to enrich the intellectual and cultural life of South Florida through lectures, seminars and workshops, and screenings.


Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2
Sunday, February 23 at 5:30PM

Fresh off of the international success of LA DOLCE VITA, master director Federico Fellini moved into the realm of self-reflexive autobiography with what is widely believed to be his finest and most personal work. Marcello Mastroianni delivers a brilliant performance as Fellini’s alter ego Guido Anselmi, a film director overwhelmed by the large-scale production he has undertaken. He finds himself harangued by producers, his wife, and his mistress while he struggles to find the inspiration to finish his film. The stress plunges Guido into an interior world where fantasy and memory impinge on reality. Fellini jumbles narrative logic by freely cutting from flashbacks to dream sequences to the present until it becomes impossible to pry them apart, creating both a psychological portrait of Guido’s interior world and the surrealistic, circus-like exterior world that came to be known as “Felliniesque.”

Directed by Federico Fellini.
Italy. 138 minutes. 35mm Film.
1964. B+W. Italian with English Subtitles.

Michelangelo Antonioni’s RED DESERT
Sunday, March 23 at 5:30PM

Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1960s panoramas of contemporary alienation were helped define the decade, and RED DESERT, his first color film, is perhaps his most epochal. This provocative look at the spiritual desolation of the technological age—about a disaffected woman, brilliantly portrayed by Antonioni muse Monica Vitti, wandering through a bleak industrial landscape beset by power plants and environmental toxins, and tentatively flirting with her husband’s coworker, played by Richard Harris—continues to keep viewers spellbound. With one startling, painterly composition after another—of abandoned fishing cottages, electrical towers, looming docked ships—RED DESERT creates a nearly apocalyptic image of its time, and confirms Antonioni as cinema’s preeminent poet of the modern age.

Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni.
Italy. 117 minutes. 35mm Film.
1964. Color. Italian with English Subtitles.

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s MAMMA ROMA
Sunday, April 20 at 5:30PM

Anna Magnani is Mamma Roma, a middle-aged prostitute who attempts to extricate herself from her sordid past for the sake of her son. Filmed in the great tradition of Italian Neorealism, Mamma Roma offers an unflinching look at the struggle for survival in postwar Italy, and highlights director Pier Paolo Pasolini’s lifelong fascination with the marginalized and dispossessed. Though banned upon its release in Italy for obscenity, today MAMMA ROMA remains a classic, featuring a powerhouse performance by one of cinema’s greatest actresses and offering a glimpse at a country’s most controversial director in the process of finding his style.

Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini.
Italy. 110 minutes. 35mm Film.
1962. B+W. Italian with English Subtitles.

Part of the Cosford Classics Initiative to present classic cinema on 35mm celluloid.